Friday, September 2, 2016

7 Quick Takes about 10-Year-Olds Who Could Beat Me Up, Getting Interrogated at the Airport, and What It Means to Be Lucky

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


After 12 years of mothering, I think I can definitively say that the dirtiest thing in the whole world is a 2-year-old on a camping trip. 

We went camping this weekend and it was the most bizarre thing: we arrived at the campsite squeaky clean, unbuckled the 2-year-old to let him out of the car, and then turned around and BOOM. He looked just like the tar baby. He was absolutely filthy the entire weekend, no matter what we did.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable FIles}
Only 2/3 of these children are ours. We went camping with friends.


The day we came home from camping, we were hot, tired, and most of all, slightly damp. The last thing we wanted to do was unpack. But we knew we weren't going to get any more motivated as the days went by, so we did all the laundry and put everything away that very day.

When I looked out the window and saw Phillip not only unpacking the vehicles but vacuuming them out, I've never been so in love.

Even though I did a thorough clean-out in the spring, somehow he found ticket stubs in there from visiting the aquarium in February. The van desperately needed his help.


For the last few weeks I've been working out with my girls in the morning to a YouTube video of their choice. One of their most recent picks was this one:

Power Girl fitness is a "for kids, by kids" workout so at first I wasn't sure if I'd get anything out of it, but I figured it was still together time with my daughters and they could benefit from doing a workout led by a positive role model around their age.

Little 10-year-old Jessy looks sweet, but that chick must have glutes made of iron. I woke up the next morning and my rear end felt like it was on fire.

I knew I wasn't in the best shape but it's still humbling to get your butt kicked by a 4th grader.


Our oldest girls had the time of their lives visiting Harry Potter World with their aunts this week.

When you take kids to the airport to fly as 'unaccompanied minors,' you have to talk to the person at the desk and get a boarding pass for yourself, too. Otherwise you can't get through security to bring them to their gate.

I'd brought the baby with me, who also needed a pass, but no big deal. The ticketing agent could get him one if I could just answer a few questions.

Things were going fine until she said "And what's his middle name?" and I couldn't remember. My mind was entirely blank. Was it Jacob? Lancelot? Bilbo? I had no idea. They all sounded equally possible, to be honest. I stood there for what felt like a very long time before my daughter came up with the answer.

In my defense, I was tired and have never needed to use his middle name other than to write it on his birth certificate form when he was born, and that was months ago. I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning.


Question: why can girls use boy stuff but not the other way around?

Soccer season is starting up again, and since we have multiple kids playing soccer we keep a giant box of cleats of all sizes in our attic. It's like a shoe store up there, basically.

Anyway, the only cleats in my son's size had a pink swoosh on them. And frankly, I'm ticked that I can't send him in pink cleats. I mean, I know I can, but he'd feel self-conscious about it and probably get teased.

Yes, I'm mostly annoyed because I'm a cheapskate and I have to go buy new cleats when there's already a perfectly good pair in the attic. But it's also about sexism. Read this article if you don't know what I mean. 

It seems like women have made a lot of progress in the last 50 years, but after reading that article I wasn't so sure.


I was showering in the morning when my 4-year-old came in to tell me that her 2-year-old brother had a bloody nose. 

Panicking, I fumbled to turn off the water, imagining something like this happening all over the living room rug.

"Go hold a tissue to his nose until I get there!" I yelled.

"I did," she answered calmly. "It's done bleeding now. He got some on his shirt so I put a new one on him. The other one is soaking in the sink. I'll try to remember to take it out tomorrow."

Then she left the room.

After I finished my shower, I immediately started planning a vacation to Tahiti because I am so obviously not needed around here anymore.


I was taking the kids hiking. As soon as we pulled into the parking area of a local trail, a few of the older kids disappeared to the Port-a-Potty.

I was getting the younger kids out of the van when a lady came out of the woods walking her dog and approached the car next to me. Giving my family a glance, she said, "You have four children?"

"Actually, I have six," I said cheerfully, bracing myself for the backlash because that's so crazy and don't I know where babies come from and what about my environmental footprint, and blah, blah, blah. I've heard it before.

"You are so lucky," she smiled, and got in her car with her dog and left.

And do you know what? I am lucky. It's easy to take the 6 amazing little people in my house for granted. But children are a blessing. Not much else besides family even matters much in the long run.

No matter what your family's size or shape, I want you to look right at them today and repeat after me: "I am so lucky."

Because you are.

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Unknown said...

I hope you haven't bought new cleats yet. I had the exact same problem,it's probably the exact same cleat actually. I took a black sharpie marker to the pink swoosh and no one was the wiser. My son wore them for two years that way. Now his little sister is annoyed to find out she could have had pink on her cleats if I hadn't colored them for her brother.

Jenny said...

You just reminded me why I hate vacations. You come home to have chores to do.

I don't have a problem with, mine is birthdays. Especially mine, I start giving them all the birthdays until I get to the right one haha

AnneMarie said...

Haha! I'll have to take a look at that workout sometime, except it may make me feel even more unathletic. Even though I'm not pregnant anymore, I still like to do a prenatal cardio workout, because the pregnant lady helping lead the workout takes things nice and easy, which is just the way I like it ;)

I am so with you on #5! I would be super ticked off about "having" to buy new cleats, too. I thought about this a bit when I took a Women Writers course as a college student (known affectionately as "The Feminism Class" to many people). It seems that young girls are given the message that it's cool to be a "tomboy," but it's not so cool for boys to be effeminate when they like art or poetry or the color pink, because girly things=weakness. Not to mention the fact that in the early 20th century, the general rule was that boys should be dressed in pink and girls in blue. *insert dramatic sigh at the way history is so quickly forgotten*

Chaun said...

I'd love if you ever wrote more in depth on the soccer cleat issue!

We've had something a little similar going on. I'm all about celebrating gender differences and I understand that we use certain materials to show off the differences (IE lace and bows on little girls.) That doesn't bother me.

But, as a fellow cheapskate, and for the sake of wanting to not care, I've been packing up all my daughter's newborn pink onesies for the new boy coming in. Not because I don't appreciate his future masculinity, but because it's just a dang color. And he's a baby who will surely dirty his onesie 5x a day, so I don't care what he's wearing as long as he's warm. (That said, I also didn't include the very feminine clothes for him, because I do want to appreciate his gender difference and show him off as a wonderful little boy, just as his sister is a wonderful little girl.)

So many underlying things here I'm trying to figure out :)

Anyway, just thought I'd share! Also loved what AnneMarie said.

Chaun said...

Also a comment that isn't so potentially controversial - I am totally impressed that you guys cleaned up the same day you got home from vacation. I got home from vaca 3 weeks ago, aaaaaaand there's still cleaning to do. I have been sufficiently inspired to go get that mess cleaned up :)

Alicia @ Sweeping Up Joy said...

Whenever we have a doctor appointment for one of our kiddos, I always rehearse their birthdate ahead of time, because I know they'll ask, and I know I might blank.

Thanks for the reminder about how lucky we are. :)

Crystal Green from Sharing Life's Moments said...

I couldn't resist watching this video of their workout. It was quite impressive!! Getting your stuff put away the same day is quite an accomplishment. Sounds like you have a great helper in your husband!

Budget Splurge Beauty said...

What a beautifully uplifting ending to the post. Especially after that article. I have always felt that way, but that article articulates it SO well. It really is something that rubs me the wrong way often when I notice it happening around me. Also, you are less of a cheap skate than me because if my son didn't want the pink shoes I would just color over them with a marker or something :D hahaha

Jenny Evans said...

I don't know which one of us is cheaper, but I do know which one of us is smarter because I didn't even think of the marker thing!

Jenny Evans said...

Gah! Phillip suggested that and I blew it off thinking it would wear off right away and not work. Next time!

Jenny Evans said...

An don't forget that everybody wore a dress until they were 5, too!

Jenny Evans said...

For the record, our pink baby towels, blankets and baby toys are used regardless of the baby's gender. (I think my toddler has pink and yellow flowered sheets on his crib right now, as a matter of fact.)

Jenny Evans said...

I knew that's exactly what would happen to us if we didn't just do it right away! That's literally the only reason we did it all that day.

Jenny Evans said...

I think the video is best watched on the couch with a bag of chips, but that's just me.

Jenny Evans said...

Why didn't anyone tell me I would have to cram like in college before doctor's appointments when I was having kids?

Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings said...

I loved this post! Because yes- dirty vans, bloody noses and tar baby two year olds might not sound like evidence of a lucky life to everyone, but they are gifts in their own way (even if sometimes I would like to return them and get a Target gift card instead).

Just to clarify- I wouldn't actually return my two year old. :-/

Jenny Evans said...

But I also wouldn't turn down a Target gift card... so it would be quite the dilemma.

Jenny Evans said...

Two of our kids (one of them is the 4yo) get constant bloody noses, so they know the drill pretty well.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I don't think I'm a camping person. It's just not for me. But I would like s'mores.

Rachel said...

Aww--that last one warmed my heart. Malaysia is largely a Muslim country, and Muslims appreciate big families and have them themselves--I think our experience of being a 7-kid family here has been very different than it would have been in America. Once a train driver wanted to hold my cute infant sister, and he proudly told my Dad, "I have 5 children!" Dad proudly told him back, "This is my 7th child!" and then the train driver thought my parents were the coolest ever. Honeymooners from the Middle East come to Malaysia a lot, and they've stopped my family to ask my parents how they've accomplished the amazing--7 kids--and if they have any parenting tips. haha!

Jenny Evans said...

I've heard you can make them in the microwave...?

Rach said...

I love that you are working out with your girls! That time with them developing positive habits is so good for them (and you)! :)

Oh man, if I'm tired I can totally forget details like lesser used names or dates. No judgement here!

I've wondered the same thing! As a girl who was definitely on the more tomboy side of things growing up, I remember thinking I was lucky that I could wear boy clothes or girl clothes and that it was too bad for boys who were stuck with only boy clothes. Even as a kid I noticed this discrepancy. I'm headed over the read the article you linked now!

Jenny Evans said...

Update: at a cross-country meet on Thursday I saw a boy running in hot pink socks, and then on Saturday at the library my 4-year-old grabbed a picture book called "Boys Aren't Pink" about this bunny who was going to a pink party with her mom but er mom got sick so she took her dad and found out that boys CAN be pink, too. It gets better!

Jenny Evans said...

Wait, the book was called "Pink Me Up." I was close. But not really.